Palestinian Reconciliation

What Are the Potential Outcomes of Hamas and Fatah’s Reconciliation?

By Tallha Abdulrazaq

The Egyptian intelligence-brokered reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah have apparently finally borne fruit. On 27 April, Egyptian intelligence announced that the two Palestinian rivals have finally agreed on forming an interim government, and have made such progress that they will now fix a date for a general election. In addition, it appears that both parties have agreed to release their respective prisoners with Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior political figure in Hamas, confirming that Hamas will release all who have a non-criminal background; a clear hint at political prisoners.


Europe Through the Looking Glass: Could the Debt Crisis Negate Decades of Integration?

By Panos Stasinopoulos 

Those of us engaged in research in the field of European studies are, it is safe to say, “Europhiles”. In many cases this is owing to a story we have relating to the EU, or an 8-year-old’s memory of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and the birth of EU citizenship. There are many other reasons, historical and cultural, of course, but these are not a panacea; what we perceive as Eurosceptism is now growing. This is apparent not only in the UK, a traditionally distant bedfellow of the European experiment, but in other, more pro-EU member states. 


Lebanese Politics Gridlocked by Syrian Turmoil

By Seraina Benz

As the populist pro-democracy wave sweeps across the Arab world, provoking revolutionary change in some of the most entrenched authoritarian Arab regimes, the Republic of Lebanon lies in ruins. Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s cabinet was brought down on 12 January by the resignation of Hezbollah and its allied ministers after Hariri had refused to comply with the Shia organisation’s demands to cease all cooperation with the UN-backed international tribunal investigating Rafik Hariri’s assassination. The tribunal is expected to issue indictments against Hezbollah members and their Syrian patrons. Recovery has been anything but rapid and is likely to be stalled further as Syria, Lebanon’s traditional power-broker, is in the throes of a popular uprising which impacts heavily on Lebanon’s chances of political recovery due to the inextricable political entanglement linking the two neighbouring countries.

Arms Race

Triggering an Arms Race in the Middle East?

By Ramee Mossa

The Arab Spring has forever changed the course of politics in the Middle East. The ongoing developments are forcing experts to discard former strategic analyses and re-evaluate short and mid-term strategic forecasts of the region. In less than three months, circumstances in both Libya and Bahrain resulted in foreign power military interventions with noticeable consequences. On one hand, the gains of Libya’s pro Gaddafi forces seem to have weakened the NATO alliance, which was also harmed by the increasingly diverging strategies amongst its member states. 


Will Dissident Irish Republicans Achieve Their Aims? A Citizen’s View

By Gavin Norris

Few will have heard of Beragh, County Tyrone. It is a small village of just over five hundred inhabitants, only eight miles east of Omagh, the site of the worst terrorist atrocity of Northern Ireland’s Troubles. However on 6 April, Beragh was the site of one of the most symbolic gatherings in modern Irish history as hundreds of people from across the country’s political divide came to pay their respects to PC Ronan Kerr of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 

Northern Ireland

Dissident Irish Republicans and the Murder of PC Kerr: A Law Enforcement View

By Arthur Hayes

In August 1995, when Gerry Adams, one of the two most prominent Irish Republican politicians of the last twenty years, said to a sympathetic crowd, “They have not gone away you know”. He was referring to the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), a terrorist group which appeared about to be consigned to the history books with the establishment of a viable peace in Northern Ireland. Many thought that with decommissioning and the ceasefire, the men of violence would step away into obscurity, leaving the people of Northern Ireland to enjoy the benefits of a peaceful coexistence.


So South Sudan Is Born, Now What?

By Luis Miguel Bueno Padilla

Leaders in South Sudan have much work ahead to establish strength in the brand new nation. Success will be underpinned by four points: coordination, nation-building, civil peace and stability. But before looking toward the future, let us first examine the past. South Sudanese longings for independence go as far back as 1899. Under the British Condominium, the whole of Sudan was governed through what the British labelled "Indirect Rule" or "Devolution", and therefore administered by indigenous structures. The British Foreign Office initially devised this ruling model into two separate administrations (North and South), which eventually led to growing disparities between them.